Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sweet Hearts for my sweetheart

I am back with an update! (see, I even amaze myself with this)

There has been quite a bit going on round here. I am flat chat between here and Bendi with quilts to make, jumpers to knit, things to organise and fibre to spin.

Todays update though is concerned with objects of the finished variety though!

A couple of days ago I completed a pair of fingerless mitts - the symmetrical braided gauntlets to be precise. I can't post a photo as they are for my secret swap pal on ravely, however I got to say - I love the pattern, and SUCH a good fit! I think I may have to make another pair, for me. Perhaps in the mmm mmm mmmalabrigo which arrived the other day in the post. I got a skein or velvet grapes, and one of paris nights. One skein is destinned to be a ziggy slouch hat, the other.. well, yeah I think fingerless mitts are on the cards. Thanks Ribs!!

My main finished object though is the quilt I have been making for Miss Chaos. After many trips to spotlight to just.. browse lol with no clue of what I was doing, and quite a bit of work it is finished! Completed last night, thrown in the wash then hung to dry. I love it and am very proud of it. I learned alot along the way and am now confident that my sewing machine is the best thing since sliced bread. Awesome!

Here she is hanging up outside for a photo shoot:

and here she is having a close up and showing off her bee-hind ;)

To come in the next update: a 500g bag of black lamb fibre. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Steep colour gradients ahead, and even steeper learning curves.

I like learning new things. New ways of doing things.
And in that vein I tried 'fractal spinning' with the other half of the happy hippie roving. Fractal spinning is spinning one half of the roving slit into lengthways strips (worsted spin) to get short colour repeats. Then you spin the other half from the top, or along the width of the roving (woollen spin), which gives you looooong colour repeats. You then take the two yarns you pade, and ply them together, and the result means you rarely get overlapping colours in the ply. I prefer a really tight ply, so thats what I did.

Here's a pic of the finished product, yarn wise. It's a dodgy photo and the colour is slightly askew, but you get the idea.

And today, I knit it up into a calorimetry for myself. The fractal spin gives it a speckled look close up, but from a distance you can see the long colour gradient repeats over all. I like it a lot!

Also this week I finally succuumbed to the lure of quilting. Not that I have done anything yet. But I scrounged and found my cutting mat, went and bought myself a rotary cutter, and a stack of fat quarters. There's also a dusky purple not pictured below, don;t know why I forgot to put it in - brain was evidently not operating fully at the time.
And no. I have no idea what to do with them lol.

I also hit the mills the other day and got myself some 'Cameo' - 10 ply, 85% wool and 15% angora. I got two oversized balls in Eucalypt which is a nice sagey green. It's earmarked for the February Lady Sweater for mum.

And finally, today I got packages!!! Two of them!!! Anyone who knows me know the highlight of just about any day for me is if I see that parcel dude headed on down the white stone path. Today he brought me a copy of the 'any hat, any size, any yarn' book by Sarah Bradberry. And a box containing a special something for a special someone, a 5 pack of dyes, and my next fibre club of the month - merino/soy! Woo!

Yay for package days :)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Put a spin on it....

Brrr. Old man winter has certainly arrived in our part of the world. More frequently lately the overnight temperatures are dropping to 0 degrees or below, and we have had plenty of our usual frosty mornings.

It is lucky then that I have finally knit big Mac a pair of his own thick 100% wool socks, which he loves. He rarely takes them off and I must say I am pretty happy with them. Here is his massive clodhoppers in his 'Thuja' socks

I also finished another pair for myself. These are 'Pomatomus' socks, by CookieA, knit in cashmerino from The Knittery which was purchased with a gift voucher mum and dad got me for my birthday. It was a tricky knit, that hurt my hands with all the knitting through the back loop, and I stuffed the first sock and had to re-start repeatedly. Once everything was said and done though, they look great, and are deliciously soft and fuzzy.

And lastly, I am finally starting to churn stuff from my spinning wheel that LOOKS and FEELS just like.. *gasp* yarn!
It took me a few goes on a the spinning wheel to get the right feel for it, and after a couple of yummy efforts, things then would fall apart. I've learned a lot from this. Mainly - don;t keep spinning if it doesn't feel right, blaming yourself for being shite and hoping it gets better - DO actually attempt to adjust the tension lol. And secondly - oil the wheel regularly. I had an issue last night with constant backspinning, and a hard to treadle wheel, which was making me increasingly frustrated. Until I realised I had not oiled it since I got it. A little bit of oil later and she span like a dream all over again. 

Thus far here is my pride and joy, from roving, through to yarn, through to a finished object.
Firstly, the roving. This is what I received for the first months installment of the Ewe Give Me The Knits mixed bag fibre club. It is 100% BFL, labeled as 130grams +, in a colourway she calls 'Happy Hippie'. Appropriate name, no?

From there, I divided it in half, and used half of it to spin a single ply at a DK / 8ply weight yarn. It's a little thick and thin in parts, but overall I was pretty happy with the level of evenness it spun at. I got 113 metres from it! Only HALF of that roving!!!! It had such sheen and was so very soft.

As tempted as I was to keep it a pet and just pat it every so often, my wee Chaos girl took quite a shine to it, and colours looked lovely against her ever so pale skin. So, I started knitting. a little contrasting plain 8 ply and some crochet flowers I had sitting about (thanks Sue!)  and we have a cute wee hat wich will see her through this winter, and hopefully the next too. She's too cute, and I love the hat - so pleased with how it turned out.

She looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, doesn't she?
We are still not speaking of the incident earlier in the week where both Miss Chaos and Master Mayhem broke into my craft room and my stash.. and then Master Mayhem proceeded to pain and wipe and smear with something that came out of his nappy. I'm sure one day in the distnat future I will laugh about it, but at this stage I can barely speak about it. Mac and I were smart though - we went out on the same day and bought latch locks for the top of the door.

And Finally - we are getting closer and closer to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show! Very excited!  However if you were hoping to pop along to the BBQ brekkie on the Saturday, we are very close to reaching capacity for the event - so if you want to come along, get your skates on and get RSVP'ing!